Can I Get A Medical Marijuana Card With A Felony?

Get A Medical Marijuana Card With A Felony

With the legalization of the use of medical marijuana in 37 states of the USA, there has been a sustainable rise in the number of marijuana consumers. Obtained from the Cannabis Sativa plant, cannabis or marijuana is a popular psychoactive substance known for recreational and medical benefits. However, the laws and qualifying conditions for the use of marijuana vary from state to state.

The criteria usually include being a U.S. citizen and having the appropriate age. For instance, the legal age to use marijuana in most U.S. states is a minimum of 21.

But what if you are charged with a felony? To people’s knowledge, in the USA, a felony is a highly serious crime like murder or rape compared to less serious offenses. The punishment for felonies is generally very severe depending on the type of the crime. Millions of people live with a felony in the USA. Convicted felons lose many rights in the United States, including voting, foreign travel, parental perks, and social benefits.

Not getting a Medical Marijuana Card can be another right that a convicted felon may be deprived of. However, this depends on where you live. Before we dive deeper, let’s first understand what an MMJ card is.

An Overview of Medical Marijuana Card

Though marijuana is well known as a recreational drug, it is known to help individuals boost their health and quality of life. Medical marijuana is an alternative drug for people suffering from various health issues like depression and anxiety to name a few.

However, it is important to get a medical marijuana card to use marijuana for medical use. An MMJ card is a document approved by a certified medical expert that allows someone to legally obtain and use marijuana to real all of its medical benefits. However, there are certain conditions like appropriate age that you must qualify for to get an MMJ card. The qualifying conditions vary from state to state.

Can I Get Medical Marijuana Card With a Felony?

In some USA states like Mississippi, certain felons convicted of serious crimes like rape, don’t have voting rights. For a convicted felon even accessing normal things like getting a job, travelling, or voting is a roadblock.

Imagine how hard it can be to get an MMJ card. Interestingly enough, obtaining an MMJ card with a felony depends from state to state.

For convicted felons, it is feasible to get an MMJ card approved by a licensed physician, however, you are subjected to a background screening.

This background check focuses on your criminal history and record. While the offences listed in your criminal record are important, the most vital will be whether or not you are charged with a drug offence. In case you are charged with a drug offence, there is a high chance that you won’t qualify for an MMJ card.

States That Allow Felons to Use MMJ

Interestingly, a convicted felon is more deprived of benefits like voting rights and public housing than medical marijuana.

A majority of MMJ programs have no hard restrictions for felons. In most cases, one must qualify the following conditions to get an MMJ card

  • Above a specific age limit
  • Suffering from a health issue
  • Completing the application form honestly
  • Recommended by a licensed doctor
  • Licensing fee payment

There are many states that are in favour of allowing felons to use medical marijuana. This includes

California: As per Proposition 64 in California, nonviolent marijuana criminals can clear their records. Doing so allows them to enjoy rights like getting a gun licence, enjoying a government job, and starting a cannabis-growing business.

New York: Similarly, with the legalisation of recreational marijuana in New York, the bill allows felons to get an MMJ card in NY. However, it is important to get it approved by an authorised cannabis doctor in NY.

Arizona: Arizona allows drug traffickers, murderers, and felons to get an MMJ card after receiving certification from a licensed medical marijuana doctor.

States That Don’t Allow Felons to Use MMJ

Most U.S. states allow felons to get an MMJ card. However, exceptions do exist. Some U.S. states that don’t issue an MMJ card if you are convicted are

Illinois: Sadly, Illinois is one of the states that don’t allow felons convicted of drug offenses to access or get an MMJ card.

As per state law, the person applying for an MMJ card needs to get their fingerprints scanned and go through a background check. You won’t get an MMJ card in case your reports show that you have been charged with a drug offense.

It is important to note that applicants who clear test results under the provision for first-time offenders can easily get MMJ cards.

Iowa: Just like Illinois, Iowa doesn’t allow felons convicted of drug offences to get an MMJ card. The state follows a simple mantra, “Once a criminal, always a criminal.”

Can Felons Get Medical Marijuana Business Licence?


As mentioned above, states like New York and California allow felons to use medical marijuana to improve their health conditions. But when it comes to getting a medical marijuana business licence, things are different.

As per legal marijuana programs, it is restricted to get a commercial business licence if the felon is convicted of drug offences.

Almost every U.S. state has similar restrictions to “legitimize the trade”. The main reason behind this is the trading of marijuana from a legal to an illegal state.

Let’s Wrap Up

Hopefully, most of your doubts are cleared. Overall, a convicted felon can get an MMJ card in most legal states except Illinois and Iowa at present.

Last but the least, it is important to know that many states impose restrictions on caregivers with felony convictions. To your knowledge, a caregiver has a legal right to buy, transport, and deliver medical marijuana to a qualified patient.

Suffering from health conditions like depression or anxiety? If yes, medical marijuana is the right medicine for you. However, it is recommended to approach NY Medical Card to get a Medical Marijuana card from a licensed doctor on the same day.

New York Marijuana Laws : Everything You Need to Know

New York Marijuana Laws

The cannabis industry is booming all over the US states. New York recently legalized recreational weed, becoming another state to do so after some failed and stalled attempts in the past. Medical marijuana has been legalized since 2014 when the Compassionate Care Act was passed. One could easily access legal cannabis with the recommendation of a  medical marijuana NYC doctor. 

With the rising demand of cannabis products, many NY medical marijuana doctors also entered the market. All of this led to a more organized and regularized use of cannabis and the state-government made sure that strict cannabis-related laws prevail in New York. 

Before we jump to the NY medical marijuana laws, let’s read some of the basic information about cannabis that you all should know. 

Is Cannabis Legal in New York? 

Yes. Both recreational and medical cannabis is legal in New York. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation permitting the use of medical marijuana in the year 2014 while recreational cannabis got legalized in March 2021, allowing adults aged 21 or above to consume, possess, and cultivate cannabis legally. Though medical marijuana patients get more leverage when it comes to availing the benefits, recreational users still have to buy cannabis with all the necessary guidelines keeping in mind. 

What Are the Marijuana Laws in NY? 

 Possession Laws: As per the NY marijuana laws, a person aged 21 or above can possess up to three ounces of cannabis flower or up to 24 gm of concentrates. Possession of more than 8 ounces of cannabis is considered as a misdemeanor and is punishable by one year of imprisonment and fine of up to $1000. Smoking or vaping marijuana in public places is seen as a violation, as per New York’s tobacco control laws

Laws Regarding Sale: Exchange of up to three ounces of marijuana or 24 gram of concentrates does not lead to imprisonment or any sort of fine. However, selling marijuana to a person aged 18 or below is considered a crime and is punishable by up to seven years of imprisonment and fine of up to $5000. Using a child to undertake the sale of marijuana products is also a misdemeanor and is punishable by four years of imprisonment and fine of up to $5000. 

Laws Regarding Cultivation: A person can cultivate up to six marijuana plants ( 3 mature and 3 immature) for the treatment of his/her medical condition. One will also be able to cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants from the year 2022. If a person is caught cultivating more than six plants, he/she will have to spend a year in prison and pay a fine of up to $1000. Please note that if you are a medical marijuana patient and have a doctor’s recommendation to cultivate marijuana for your health condition, then the cultivation can vary depending on your health requirement. 

Laws Regarding Trafficking: Below are the conditions that make a person the major trafficker of marijuana – 

  • If a person is a director of a company who sells $75000 of marijuana over the period of a year or less. 
  • If a person collects $7000 or more from the sale of marijuana over the period of six years. 
  • If a person aims to sell $7000 worth of marijuana over the period of six years or less. 
  • If a person qualifies for any of the above conditions, he will be known as a major trafficker and will be punishable by 15-20 years of imprisonment and a fine up to $100,000. 

One thing is to be noted here that the federal government considers marijuana as a schedule I drug, hence considers it illegal at the top level. This has led to a cold conflict between the federal government and states legalizing both medical and recreational marijuana. Smoking and vaping cannabis is prohibited in no smoking areas, public places, and near federal places. Violation of this guideline could lead a person in serious legal trouble. That is why a rational and smart consumption of cannabis has become quite important. 

Speaking of the legalization of recreational cannabis, as it has been approved by the state recently, the laws and regulations will take several months to come into effect. Cannabis, being a controversial subject, is quite flexible and is open to changes. The government can introduce different changes in the cannabis-related laws owing to new studies and experiments that keep taking place. 

Bottom Line

Modern research points towards marijuana being a valuable aid in the treatment of an array of ailments ranging from chronic pain to cancer. Having the potential to treat such a wide range of health conditions, marijuana has been a hot topic of discussion for many years now. All this has led to the legalization of marijuana in more and more US states including New York. Everyday cannabis-related new rules and regulations are documented, making the whole system a bit complex. What could be celebrated is the herb’s ability to help thousands of people all across the globe. Also, to keep yourself up to date about New York’s cannabis laws, make sure you frequently check the state’s official cannabis pages on the internet.